in which we recount our obsessions

Pottering around the internets at 5 am, I noted that Compatriot G had enumerated his obsessions of the past few years, most of which I knew about, but some of which I did not. This seemed like a very worthwhile activity indeed at that hour, especially since I’d been thinking about my odd habit of becoming obsessed with authors and their lives but not necessarily their literary output. For instance, I’ve read all of Eudora Welty’s letters, essays, nonfiction books, and interviews — but only those short stories that were assigned during the course of my lit degree. I own a number of other Welty books, lovingly reshelved at each residence, because I bought them before I realized that I do this sort of thing with some authors. (Why Welty and not Flannery O’Connor? I couldn’t possibly say.)

Herewith, my own list of obsessions, mostly from the past decade:
Groucho Marx
not-ugly flat shoes
homemade yogurt
local wine
Nigel Slater (having just finished around 2000 pages of Slater, I’m about to lay this one to rest)
everyday backpacks
Smartwool socks
Driving, preferably long distances
False hair color
Pedro Almodovar films
Eudora Welty
Oil Cleansing Method
The Rolling Stones
Bo Diddley
Neil Gaiman’s blog (but almost nothing else of his prodigious output, she said, having just opened a copy of his nonfiction collection, Adventures in the Dream Trade)
Le Creuset pans
metallic nail polish
carnivorous plants
snow, of all types
perfect heirloom tomatoes
Pilot P700 pens, fine tip, blue ink
research agendas
the Loch Ness monster

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4 Responses to in which we recount our obsessions

  1. Greg says:

    Ok, I want to hear more about the following:
    Eudora Wetly, Nigel Slater, Oil Cleansing method (does it work?), Groucho Marx (why should I learn about him?). Fascinating list. It’s kinda cool to see what we get obsessed with. And look at me leaving _museums_ off my list. What kind of academic am I?

  2. rr says:

    What a great list. I am particularly curious about the automatons. Do you have any? I might try the oil cleansing method, but have an irrational fear of the castor oil bean to overcome.

  3. Krista says:

    We should discuss all of these very important items! RR, I do not have a proper automaton at the moment, despite having a reasonably fair collection of small robots — some practical (i.e. the Roomba), but most not.

    The Oil Cleansing Method does work, and I also had to get over a literature-based fear of castor oil. The key is being patient with tweaking the formula, since going too heavy on the castor will dry your skin. (It’s true, oil will dry your skin out. Who knew?) But the plus is coming up with a truly customized mix that works to address your individual issues. Right now, I’m using regular olive oil from the kitchen with about 12% castor oil and a smidge of tea tree oil. Been doing it for about 6 weeks and am really happy with the results. (I do still need regular moisturizer, though. Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin Formula.)

  4. rr says:

    Most useful! I shall try. And beeees!

    My automaton-equivalent obsession was mechanical (ideally self-winding with show back) watches. Far, far too expensive to indulge in now. Mind you, I did build up quite a collection back in the day.

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